Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)

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Ms 9, 1885

Sermon/God’s Purpose For Us

Grythyttehed, Sweden

October [24], 1885

Previously unpublished. +Note

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” [Colossians 1:9-11.] Thank the Lord for the possibility of obtaining this, through the power and riches of His great salvation. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 1

The apostle here presents the necessity of being filled with a knowledge of God’s will. We must have a knowledge of God; but in order to obtain this blessing, we must be earnest in prayer. Is there anything more desirable than this knowledge? We live in a world where iniquity abounds and where the law of Jehovah is made void. Those who have a knowledge of God’s will will not separate themselves from Him by disobedience. They will be animated with an earnest desire to fulfil God’s purpose for them. Shall we live to please Him who gave His life for us, that all who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life? 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 2

In order to be followers of Christ, we must separate from the world’s customs and practices. In doing this, we shall have God’s blessing. We cannot have the peace of Christ in our hearts, and yet be joined to the world. Then our lives are filled with pride, with the love of the world, and there is no room for Jesus. The soul temple must be cleansed of all worldliness, all self-love, so that Jesus can come in with His abiding presence. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 3

If the mind is filled with thoughts of God and heaven, there will not be room for the things of this world. But if you are seeking for the pleasures of this life, your mind becomes engrossed with transitory things, and heaven is forgotten. Between the children of God and worldlings there is a clear line of demarcation. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Matthew 6:24.] “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 4

Those who give the things of this world the proper place in their life will inquire, “What is truth?” [John 18:38.] As light shines upon the Word of God, they will follow that light. We are not to follow that light only which shone in the days of prophets and apostles. The light is growing brighter and brighter, and additional light is shining upon us. The jewels of truth, which have been buried beneath the rubbish of error, are being dug out and replaced in their original setting. Daily we are to search the Scriptures; and as we do this, light will shine upon its pages. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 5

Jesus left the heavenly courts, and came to this world, that He might leave us a perfect example, that we might “walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing.” [Colossians 1:10.] Light from heaven is constantly shining upon our pathway. If we open our hearts to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then the light will be reflected to those around us, and we shall be walking worthily. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 6

God has given us abundant proof of his love for us. The Word of God declares, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13.] But Jesus gave His life for His enemies. The love that shines from Calvary is without a parallel. Christ died in order to place salvation within the reach of all sinful mortals. Will we take hold of the promise? Will we take hold of the divine power? The thought of the infinite sacrifice that He made in our behalf should arouse in us an earnest desire to be like Him. For our sakes He left His Father’s throne and clothed Himself with humanity. In our behalf, He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. In order that we might have through obedience to His requirements an eternal weight of glory, He endured shame and mockery. Shall we, then, be indifferent and neglect the salvation placed within our each at so great a cost? 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 7

Jesus asks for our love and confidence. He knows that we need Him, that we need the peace which He alone can give, the rest which He alone can bestow. “Come unto Me,” He says, “all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 8

The conditions upon which gaining the rest is dependent are wearing Christ’s yoke and bearing His burden. In so doing, you will find rest. We need daily to learn of Christ the lesson of humility. The wisdom of Jesus will place us in such a relation to God that we shall feel unbounded confidence in Him. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 9

It is impossible for us to save ourselves. We have in us no power to wash away one stain of sin. But a fountain has been opened for us—the blood of Jesus Christ. Into this we may plunge and be cleansed. Satan will tell you that it is impossible for human beings to have freedom from sin. Tell him that Jesus is your Saviour, that He died for you, that He has life in Himself, and that He will give this life to every sincere seeker. When darkness and unbelief press in upon the soul, do not lose your confidence in the Word of God. If you comply with the conditions specified, you may rely upon these promises. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 10

The power of the enemy is increasing. He is coming down with great power and is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. But God will not allow those who trust in Him to be overcome by the power of Satan. Let each believer lay his hand in the hand of Jesus, saying, “Lead me and guide me.” [Psalm 31:3.] If we commit the keeping of our souls unto Him as unto a faithful Creator, He will keep that which we have committed unto Him “against that day.” [2 Timothy 1:12.] He will protect us against Satan’s devices. He will shelter us from the storms of temptation. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 11

Religion does not consist in form. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” [James 1:27.] Those who have the religion of Christ will bear fruit to the glory of God. As we listen to the words of the true Christian, we realize that Jesus is formed in him, the hope of glory. He loves the Saviour; he talks of Him; and the more he dwells upon His love, the more he thinks of Him and appreciates the blessed Redeemer, the more earnestly he seeks to uplift Him before others. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 12

Christ has left us a perfect example, and as we follow Him we shall become patient, kind, and forbearing. The religion of Christ does not bring men down to a low level; it elevates and ennobles them. It never makes men coarse and rough. It refines the tastes and sanctifies the judgment, fitting men and women for the society of the heavenly angels. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 13

There are higher attainments for the children of God than they have yet reached. We are to grasp the promises and to show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Jesus wants us to show to the world that there is in the gospel power to enable human beings to gain the victory over sin. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 14

The more we have of Christ’s love, the more we shall want of this precious gift. He will be in us a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life; and we shall be a blessing to all around us, strengthened by His glorious power, growing up into the full stature of men and women in Christ. There is no limit to His power, and He will lift us up according to our faith in Him. 4LtMs, Ms 9, 1885, par. 15